The Buffalo Bills had big hopes for this season, and have completely fallen short of their goals and expectations. Sitting at 7-6 and second place in the division, the Bills have four games left to get it together. Facing the Carolina Panthers this week at home, the New England Patriots away, then the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets at home to close things out. The Bills, who are currently the seventh seed, will need a strong finish to make it to the postseason. But, what’s stopping the Bills from achieving their expectations this season?
The Buffalo Bills added WR Emmanuel Sanders and OT Spencer Brown on offense. With all the firepower on this offense, you’d think they would be putting up similar, or better, stats as last year’s. However, they haven’t been. Their PPG (27.9) went down from last year (31.3). Their rushing game is middle-of-the-pack, ranking 15th in the league in rushing yards per game (121) and 12th in rushing TDs per game (one). Judging off of the first half of last week’s Buccaneers game, the Bills have little faith in their run game. That should come as no surprise if you’ve seen the RBs carry the ball this year. However, if the team has little faith in their run game, wouldn’t they add some talent to the RB room, or even the OL?
Well, they added Matt Breida and moved Daryl Williams inside to RG. Now, you can say they brought in Jack Anderson and Forrest Lamp to compete, but neither made the 53-man roster. So, there’s the talent they brought in at Guard. Now at RB, their 2020 third-round pick, Zack Moss, has been a healthy scratch for a couple games this season. With Matt Breida, who isn’t getting a lot of time on the field, and Devin Singletary, who seems to be having a down year, they haven’t done anything to fix it.
Defensively, the Buffalo Bills were banking on two things: (1) Tremaine Edmunds showing some growth from the year before, and (2) Star Lotulelei coming back would help the run D. Well, Edmunds has been missing tackles, filling the wrong gap, and getting lost in coverage for most of the season. With the run D, the Bills have an issue stopping the run against top-tier RBs (Fournette, Taylor, Henry, etc). That issue would fall on Star and Tremaine mostly.
Additionally, the pass rush is still almost nonexistent, even as the Bills added multiple pass rushers this off-season (Gregory Rousseau, Carlos Basham, and Efe Obada). Only Rousseau has been consistently active on game days. Groot made an immediate contribution early, but has faded in recent games.
Beane constructed this year’s Bills roster to beat the Kansas City Chiefs… and only the Kansas City Chiefs. They added the pass rushers to stop their offense and the extra offensive talent to be able to keep up with the Chiefs on the scoreboard. Well, it hasn’t worked out the way they hoped. Buffalo beat the Chiefs earlier this season, but have failed to do the same against Jacksonville and Pittsburgh, among other teams.
Who should we put the blame on? Brian Daboll? Sean McDermott? Brandon Beane? All probably deserve some sort of blame for this season. Beane for the way he constructed this team, McDermott for his game management, and Brian Daboll for the lackluster offense we’ve seen time after time this season.
Where the Bills go moving forward?
What can the Bills do in the off-season? Well, not a lot. They’ll be tight for cap space once Allen’s deal kicks in. They’ll also need to give Stefon Diggs a contract extension coming up soon. But, let’s see what positions they’ll need to upgrade:
- CB3 (the lack of CB depth is showing right now)
- DT (someone to help stop the run)